Alfred Austin (1835 – 1913) was the English poet laureate after Alfred Lord Tennyson. Included in his voluminous output are three novels, seven plays, critical essays and many collections of verse. Although his poetry has been derided as an example of late Victorian bathos, definite skill in composition and sincerity are patent in much of his verse, marred though it is by occasional spectacular infelicities.
One of his more effective longer poems is A Dialogue in Fiesole, a colloquy between two lovers, which concludes with the following lines:
Give me your hand; and, if you will, keep mine
Engraffed in yours, as slowly thus we skirt
La Doccia's dark declivity, and make
Athwart Majano's pathless pines a path
To lead us onward haply where it may.
Lo ! the Carrara mountains flush to view,
That in the noonday were not visible.
Shall we not fold this comfort to our hearts.
Humbly rejoiced to think as there are heights
Seen only in the sunset, so our lives,
If that they lack not loftiness, may wear
A glow of glory on their furrowed fronts,
Until they faint and fade into the night.
Audio edited by Denis Daly
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